Beeminder Forum

Max's beeminder journal

#85

No changes on my goals this week. I have started putting together something to get me writing and publishing more, may add some goals in the next couple of weeks!

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#86

Unfortunately my ‘todo-home’ task died. I had a full and productive day, did many useful things, but failed to do the ones on my todo list.

I have quickly retroratcheted today, since without that goal forcing me into action it has now been three days since I last cleared my todo list.

It is lucky I don’t have goals for feeding myself, or derailment might be fatal.

6 Likes
#87

I’ve been wanting to do some more writing, and have put together a set of ideas, some notes, etc. and got quite excited about it. I noticed last week that I haven’t actually written anything yet though, so I added a goal to spend 10min/day on writing/editing/research and some progress is now being made.

I didn’t want a goal of just ‘publish once a month’ because I would inevitably wait until the last two days to start.

#88

The writing goal has been successful. As well as writing for at least 10 mins a day, I also find myself thinking of ideas throughout the day due to having the topic always in the back of my mind.

I do seem to be falling into the habit of writing exactly 10mins and skating the line, instead of doing longer 30 minute sessions twice a week for example, which would be more sufficient. I think I will need a secondary goal of ‘publish the damn article’ to make sure I don’t noodle around on it endlessly.

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#89

Bad websites

I’ve been back-sliding a little when it comes to banning time wasting websites, as I mentioned in Narthur’s journal:

On android I use Blockada for ad-blocking and also blocking youtube, reddit and hackernews. I find that the more I restrict “bad” time usage, the easier it is to do well on my other goals (for example reading tends to expand to fill that space). I have actually been struggling a bit with the site blocking recently, finding myself turning off blockada to check youtube now and then. I’ve put it in a folder called “please don’t” and added password protection, but this doesn’t seem enough. I am considering asking my partner to change the password and not tell me unless I can give a good reason.

I need to increase the friction a lot to fix this, and my having to convince my partner will definitely achieve that…

Pocket

I have reduced my pocket deletion and reading goals slightly, as I felt like I was spending too much time there. I’ll see how it affects the backlog in a month or so.

Todo-work

I’ve been making a few changes to my project management / todo processes (the annual ritual of changing to some different process, which will probably help short term, but make no different long term, oh well. It is less and less frequent, maybe this is the last time!) and have paused my todo-work goal in the meantime, as it has felt stressful without being useful recently. Too much urgent work preventing planned work from being done, but I do not want to penalise myself as long as I made the correct prioritisation in those cases. Needs more thought.

I’m not touching my home-todo goal, because I can barely function without it.

Publish!

I have added a meta-goal for my write-article goal, which is to actually publish something. It comes due on Sunday, so I am looking forward to a last-minute crazed editing session. I set up an IFTTT trigger based on the RSS feed that will be updated on publishing, so I can’t weasel out of it.

2 Likes
#90

Ideas

I have archived my ‘think of 3 ideas a day’ goal for a while. It has been a great goal, generating a lot of ideas, but I need some time now to work on implementing the (few) decent ones!

Productivity

My productivity system fiddling continues. I’ve got everything mostly set up, and am working out how I’ll be structuring goals for both work and home tasks. Should have everything worked out by next week.

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#91

Well done for journaling for over a year. I was wondering if you had one overarching goal? Like what is your most important long term goal? One or two things?

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#92

Well done for journaling for over a year. I was wondering if you had one overarching goal? Like what is your most important long term goal? One or two things?

No, not really. I think I have a direction that I’m moving in, but there is no big audacious goal to work toward. I’m more of a processes person than a goal person, although I do think I would be more effective if I hard clearer targets.

1 Like
#93

Extreme friction

I am now unable to visit certain websites on my phone (youtube is the big one) thanks to blockada and a custom blacklist. I have locked the app and my partner set the password, so if I want to go on youtube, I have to ask her to unlock it for me, and I must give a “good reason”. In practice, it is sort of embarassing to say “could you unlock youtube for me because I’m bored”, so I haven’t done so yet. Great success.

New goals around personal productivity

I have beem playing with some new ways of handling my todo list. Instead of my old system (+1 to my ‘todo-home’ goal if I clear the todo list for that day, so the day before I schedule things I need to get done), I was playing with having a selection of next actions, and requiring 2 of those be done each day (as well as clearing any scheduled tasks). I immediately found myself focusing on the more pleasant tasks and ignoring some important but hard ones. It also made my objective less clear, instead of knowing “clear the list and I’m DONE”, I have to remember how many next actions to do, and clear the list, and make sure there will be enough completable next actions for tomorrow etc.

I’ve killed the ‘next action’ goal and am going back to just scheduling everything for now, although I might play with some more ideas while I’m still getting the new system worked out.

I’ve got quite a lot of stuff to get done right now, so I can’t afford to fiddle around for too long!

6 Likes
#94

No change in my goals this week. Making my partner pick the password to the website-blocker on my phone is working great. I’ve not used the banned websites at all since she set the password, and have been doing slightly more productive things instead!

3 Likes
#95

Website blocking

In addition to still having youtube etc. blocked on my phone, I’ve started using strict workflow on chrome to block slack and email when I’m in a work pomodoro. I’m not currently using pomodoros strictly (although I have in the past, and enjoy them), but have found myself very unfocused recently, constantly checking emails and slack messages, bringing down my productivity. Blocking those websites during the pomodoro is helping, and should break the habit over time.

5 Likes
#96

No changes in goals this week. It has been very busy and I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed some days, even though none of my goals are particularily challenging right now. I will try and find some time over the weekend to build a bit of a buffer so I can have a rest day on some of the goals during next week.

2 Likes
#97

I posted in a different thread this week, since the topic seemed relevant to what I was thinking of writing anyway: Ideas on money in beeminder

4 Likes
#98

I once again failed to enter data for my flossing and supplement goals, despite having done the tasks, and got stung. I have already requested these goals be un-derailed a number of times, and could not bring myself to do so again.
This is despite getting my phone to beep loudly at me for any beeminder notifications after 6pm. I still managed to forget!

I think the fact I was forgetting this so much points to an issue with the goals. I did not care about them anymore.

I have set them to archive for now. I am considering a few options:

  • Set the due time to mid-day, so I have to complete them in the morning, and will be less likely to forget (however, I am used to everything being due at 2am, so may be more likely to forget, especially on days when I’m far from my phone all morning)
  • Try to train myself to associate flossing/supplements with an existing habit (brushing teeth is the obvious one)
  • Do the same, and have a goal for the whole ‘evening ritual’ while I build the association

I’m leaning toward the second right now, reintroducing a goal if necessary. I think the problem was that I tended to do it anyway, so was not paying much attention to the goal, and it became just something to tick off in the evening, yet it wasn’t quite a firm habit yet, so I still ended up in the red sometimes.

3 Likes
#99

Today has been entirely filled with work. I think I am going to just about manage to tick off all the red goals but one before I fall unconscious. It is only 5$ and right now I would happily pay much more than that to be able to just lie down and close my eyes.

As always, this reminds me ‘treat yellow as red’ and stay on top of things, because there will always be a few days where you just don’t have enough time to get everything done.

4 Likes
#100

Two new goals this week:

  • Shave (shave regularly). Recently I have been neglecting this, and keep oscillating between a short, ratty beard and shaved. I prefer how I feel when I stick to stubbly most days. Small quality of life improvement goal.
  • Stretching. I’ve not been able to run for a number of months now, and as such, my body gets put through less range of motion, and I have fallen out of the habit of rolling out my legs in the evening. The goal is for 15 minutes of stretching a day, I have a rough routine I used to go through that should get my body feeling more resilient.
3 Likes
#101

No new goals this week. For the last few weeks I have been experimenting with using beeminder from Emacs (using this package, not the one in MELPA https://github.com/mbork/beeminder.el)

It has been working fine as a straight interface to beeminder. I’m not doing much in the way filtering right now, since I don’t have enough goals to make it necessary, but it is nice to be able to see my goals at any time by hitting SPC g, makes entering datapoints that much quicker.

My config is below, although not much exciting in there:

; requirements
  (use-package request)
  (use-package anaphora)

; configure
  (require 'beeminder)
  (setq-default beeminder-username "SECRET")
  (setq-default beeminder-auth-token "SECRET")

; use this to display an 'x' if the goal has data entered today
  (defun max/beeminder-display-done-marker (goal)
    (if (string= "0" (beeminder-display-string-field goal 'donetoday)) " " "x"))

; set the display format of the goal, include the done marker at the beginning
  (setq-default beeminder-goal-pp-format '(
                                           (max/beeminder-display-done-marker) " "
                                           (beeminder-display-string-field slug 20)
                                           " " (beeminder-display-string-field limsum 16)
                                           " " beeminder-display-losedate-human
                                           " " beeminder-display-rate " " beeminder-display-pledge " "))
; let it breath a little
(add-hook
   'beeminder-mode-hook
   (lambda () (setq line-spacing 6)))

Bound to SPC g

  (general-define-key
   :states '(normal visual insert emacs)
   :prefix "SPC"

    ; etc. etc

   "g" 'beeminder-list-goals

   ; etc. etc.
  )

Result is something like this:

image

I am considering hooking up my todo list to beeminder via this package, primarily by tracking time clocked against tasks, and pomodoros completed for work items (I use org-pomodoro for pomodoro tracking).

The only issue with this is that it would only work for tasks I complete on a computer, since I don’t run a full emacs on my phone, just orgzly for todo items, so I can’t clock tasks away from a computer.

Should not be a problem for work tasks, however.

2 Likes
#102

No major changes this week. I derailed my reading goal last night. I had quite a lot of other tasks and goals to get through that evening, and ended up trying to get through 400 locations last thing before going to sleep. It seems that I fell asleep around 300 loc and woke at 4am to a notification letting me know I’d derailed!

I was reading “Why we sleep” appropriately.

2 Likes
#103

No changes or derailments this week. The only changes I have made is to book holidays for some of my goals, since I’ll be away for a couple of weeks.

I’m feeling happy with my goals right now. I am getting things done without feeling overwhelmed, generally holding enough buffer to handle any cases where I simply can’t get things done.

I am conserned that I have weasled slightly on my ‘todo home’ goal, by rescheduling a task on the day I was meant to complete it. I rationalised it at the time, but looking back, I simply waited too late in the day before starting.

I have decided to decrease the pledge one-level, and "recommit’ mentally, in the hope that I will be able to re-sanctify the goal in that way. This is similar to my usual method (burn all my productivity systems and start afresh with something “better” – which tends to keep me on track for a few months just thanks to the novely of the new method) but less drastic. Fingers crossed.

2 Likes
#104

I am currently on holiday, with all irrelevant goals on pause. No derailments yet.

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